AN ACT PROHIBITING THE POSSESSION, SALE, TRADE AND DISTRIBUTION OF SHARK FINS
Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to prohibit forthwith the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 130 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of “Seed scallop” the following 2 definitions:-
“Shark”, any species of the subclass Elasmobranchii; provided, however, that the term “shark” shall not include smooth hounds, spiny dogfish or any species in the order Batoidea.
“Shark fin”, the raw, dried or otherwise processed detached fin, or the raw, dried or otherwise processed detached tail, of a shark.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 130 is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-
Section 106. (a) Except as provided in this section, no person shall possess, sell, offer for sale, trade or distribute a shark fin.
(b) A person who holds a license or permit to take or land sharks may separate a shark fin from a lawfully landed shark during the ordinary course of preparing the body of the shark for consumption, sale, trade or distribution; provided, however, that a shark fin so separated from the shark shall be immediately destroyed unless used by the person for the purposes of taxidermy.
(c) The division may issue a permit for the possession of a shark fin to a person conducting noncommercial, scientific research.
(d) A shark fin seized by the division through the enforcement of this section shall be destroyed by the division.
(e) Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 60 days or by both such fine and imprisonment; provided, however, that each shark fin possessed, sold, offered for sale, traded or distributed in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense. A violation of this section by a person holding a commercial or recreational license or permit pursuant to this chapter may result in the suspension or revocation of such license or permit.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect on September 1, 2014.
Approved, July 24, 2014.